You just emptied the sand from your shoes and put the suitcases away in the attic, but you’re already dreaming of your next getaway. Why not take time off to have meaningful impact on others or the planet?
FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY
Instill the importance of service in your children by taking them on a volunteer vacation. Global Volunteers helps families plan trips to a variety of destinations in the United States and abroad. Service trip participants can travel to Appalachia where they repair homes of elderly and disabled residents, rehabilitate run-down classrooms and work alongside local youth in community gardens. Or volunteers can head to Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation (located next door to Glacier National Park). While there, they can teach teens and adults computer skills or assist with a summer day camp for Native American youth.
National Geographic Student Expeditions has several options to entice kids to get off the couch and into service. In Hawaii, for example, kids will put in 35 to 40 hours working alongside environmentalists, digging up invasive species, collecting data on the Kohala watershed and conducting beach cleanups.
FOR OUTDOORS ENTHUSIASTS
Those that want to spend their time off caring for America’s great outdoors can learn how to rehabilitate hiking trails by volunteering with the American Hiking Society. Or sign up with the Sierra Club. You can learn to give backpacking tours of Arizona’s Galiuro Mountains and the giant saguaro cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert.